On Sunday (9/23) Northern CA surf was head high and clean coming from the northwest. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to near chest high on the sets. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist high with chest high sets. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was maybe up to waist high at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to near chest high at the best breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were also waist to chest high with maybe a stray head high peak here and there. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was pushing waist high. The East Shore was waist to chest high.
North/Central California was getting a decent little pulse of North Pacific swell, the first of the Fall season mixed with tiny southern hemi swell. Southern California was getting more southern hemi swell swell with one more on the way. Hawaii was descending into the flat zone with the only swell of interest being easterly windswell on the East Shore. No swell was on the North Shore and next to nothing on the South Shore either. In the Southern hemisphere no swell producing storm systems are forecast for at least the next week, and likely much longer with the weather pattern turning towards summer there. One last swell is in the water though pushing north towards California and expected to be building late today (Sunday) into early in the week. In the North Pacific a series of gales are forecast to push off the Kuril Islands eastbound, but are to beeline towards the Bering Sea and become landlocked there behind the Aleutian Islands. Late the the week there's some hope for 2 gales developing in the Gulf of Alaska, too late to produce swell for the weekend but providing hope for the days beyond. So make the most of the southern hemi swell if you're in California and for everyone, keep you eyes on the charts for the Gulf of Alaska. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (9/23) for the North Pacific indicated a broken up flow tracking off the Kuril Islands pushing northeast to the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians, then fading out. A little residual energy was snaking down the Canadian and US west coasts, but was landlocked. In all, not a productive pattern. Over the next 72 hours things to improve only marginally with a generally weak flow averaging about 120 kts starting to build across the width of the North Pacific tracking just south of the Aleutians then into Central Canada. No troughs or ridges of interest forecast eliminating any chance for surface level low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours the flow to build with winds up to 150 kts by next weekend (9/29) flowing flat west to east just south of the Aleutians with a little trough forecast building in the eastern Gulf of Alaska Saturday, providing an opportunity for low pressure to develop there down at the oceans surface and giving us some hope.
Jetstream Models: We've upgraded our jetstream forecast models to includes topographic land with the jet flowing over it. Wind speeds less than 50 kts are masked out. See it here:( NPac, SPac )
At the surface today moderate high pressure at 1024 mbs was in control of the Eastern Pacific centered 800 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino CA. It was generating a light fetch of 15-20 kt north winds pushing down the Pacific Northwest coast the turning towards Hawaii off the coast of California, but fading out mid-way towards the Islands. No windswell of interest was being generated by it. A broad 968 mb low pressure system had pushed off the Kamchatka Peninsula but was tracking west through the Bering Sea, mostly landlocked by the Aleutian Islands there. Some fetch at 30-35 kts was south of the Western Aleutians producing 22 ft seas, but that to be short-lived with no swell resulting other than some background energy perhaps reaching the Hawaiian Islands with luck. In all a calm pattern was indicated. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (9/26) the Bering Sea low to track east with limited 25 kt west winds extending just south of the Aleutians eventually making it to the Gulf of Alaska, but no swell to result. A new low is to start building just off Japan on Tuesday getting somewhat organized Wednesday (9/26) off the Kuril Islands, though no swell producing fetch is forecast. Weak high pressure to still control the Eastern Pacific.No swell producing fetch forecast.
Tropical Depression Ivo was about 80 nmiles southwest of Cabo San Lucas traveling northeast at 4 kts. It is expected to continue on this path while weakening, pushing into the Gulf of California late Monday. No swell to result.
Tropical Storm Francisco was located 180 nmiles south of Hong Kong traveling west with sustained winds of 35 kts. It is expected to push into North Vietnam early Tuesday morning. No swell to result.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (9/23) high pressure at 1026 mbs was trying to hand on off the California coast, but was on the downswing with a light wind pattern in control locally and only limited 15-20 kt northerly winds over outer waters. A small fetch of 20-25 kt wind to try and build over Cape Mendocino holding into Wednesday (9/26) but small in coverage. This will likely be enough to generate small short period windswell, but the fetch itself is to be very limited to just the Northern CA waters, with a calm pattern forecast down into Central and South CA. By Thursday all fetch is to fade and thing to hold that was into Friday. By the weekend a new fetch of north winds is to try and build off Cape Mendocino Saturday 99/29), but that to be short lived with low pressure taking over the Gulf and quickly shutting down and local chances for windswell production. Calm winds to take over for the weekend.
Sundays jetstream charts (9/23) for the South Pacific indicated a very weak fragmented flow pushing west to east with no winds of interest. A weak trough was in control of the southern branch of the jet, but there was no wind energy associated with it. Over the next 72 hours that trough to push east, centered in the Southeast Pacific. Winds to build to near 140 kts but positioned mostly on the southern edge of the Southern California swell window if not even east of there. Beyond 72 hours the focus of any energy is to be east of our forecast area, useful only to Southern Chile.
At the oceans surface today no winds of interest or significant weather systems capable of generating swell were in-play. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast with a relatively calm sea state setting up. The only fetch of interest is to be in the far Southeastern Pacific and all it's winds to be aimed southeast towards Antarctica. No swell generation potential relative to our forecast area indicated.
Final Storm - Southeast Pacific - Storm 5S
A new gale started building under New Zealand Friday morning (9/14) with pressure 960 ms and winds to near 40 kts. By evening it had a moderate area of 50-55 kt winds aimed to the east-northeast at 55S 165W aimed 25 degrees east of the 201 degree path to California (unshadowed from Tahiti) and 45 degrees east of the 184 degree path to Hawaii. Seas building to 30 ft at 56S 165W.
Saturday AM (9/15) winds were 45-50 kts solid over a broad area centered at 53S 155W aimed like before or 25 degrees east of the 197 degree path to California and outside the Hawaiian swell window. 36 ft seas were modeled at 56S 160W. In the evening 45 kts winds held at 49S 140W aimed well northeast or 30 degrees east of the 192 degree path to California with more fetch moving in from the west at 40 kts. Seas were modeled to 37 ft at 52S 143W. The Jason-1 satellite passed over the back half of this fetch and reported seas at 36 ft with a peak single reading to 40 ft, right on track with the wave model.
The two fetch areas merged Sunday AM (9/16) with 50 kt fetch set up at 55S 143W but aimed southeast or 80 degrees east of the 189 degree path to California and very small in size. Seas fading to 36 ft at 50S 134W while the reinvigorated fetch gets traction on the oceans surface. In the evening a tiny area of 55-60 kt fetch was confirmed at 55S 125W aimed 80 degrees east of the 180 degree path to CA. 36 ft seas were modeled at 53S 131W.
On Monday AM (9/17) the last bit of fetch was barely in the CA swell window relative to Southern CA. Winds were 55kts at 58S 116W aimed 90 degrees east of the 178 degree path to SCal. Seas were modeled at 39 ft at 55S 120W all tracking doe east towards southern Chile. Only limited sideband potential pushing north though good energy heading towards Chile.
This was a fairly strong storm, strongest of any so far in this storm cycle. But it's was positioned mostly in the Southeast Pacific with all it's fetch aimed pretty well to the east, limiting any exposure to the Hawaiian Islands. California was situated better with the first part of the storm actually pushing fetch and seas reasonably well up the great circle paths there. And with seas in the 37 ft range and closer than in previous systems, this was an added bonus. Plus no interference from Tahiti was occurring either, so there is better potential here and better odds for consistency when the swell arrives. Significant class swell to result with some luck for California. And even more energy to be focused on Central America down into Peru and Chile.
South California: . Swell to peak out Monday (9/24) at sunrise as period moves to 17 secs. Swell 3.6 ft @ 17 secs (5-6 ft faces, best breaks 7-8 ft). Swell down a little Tuesday (9/25) early and fading with swell 3.3-3.6 ft @ 15 secs (5-6 ft - best breaks to 7.5 ft). Period dropping from 14 secs before sunrise Wednesday morning with size on the way down. Swell Direction: 192-202 degrees
North California: Swell to peak out Monday (9/24) at late morning as period moves to 17 secs. Swell 3.3-3.6 ft @ 17 secs (5.5-6.0 ft faces, best breaks 7-8 ft). Swell down a little Tuesday (9/25) and fading with swell 3.3-3.6 ft @ 15 secs (5.0-5.5 ft-best breaks 6.5-7.0 ft). Period dropping from 14 secs sunrise Wednesday morning with size on the way down. Swell Direction: 190-200 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours thing to start getting a little more interesting with a bit of luck. The Japan low is to push up into the Bering Sea by Thursday (9/27) but only hold there for 24 hours before dropping southeast into the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Friday (9/28) producing a fetch of up to 40 kt northwest winds aimed well at the US west coast with minimal sideband energy towards Hawaii. It to fade out Saturday with winds dropping to the 25 kt range. Seas are currently modeled in the 25 ft range late Friday into mid-Saturday near 50N 155W then fading below 20 ft Sunday AM as the flow pushes into Canada. If this comes to pass some form of solid 14 sec period swell is possible for the PAcific Northwest on dow into Central CA, but odds are very low at this early date. Beyond yet another similar if not stronger low is to push into the Gulf Sunday (9/30) providing more hope.
Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) - On Sunday (9/23) the active phase of the MJO was still trying to make some headway into the North Pacific, pushing east over the Philippines but not making it much further east. The active phase is linked to increased gale/storm development in the vicinity north of where it is present during Fall/Winter months. The MJO travels along the equator from west to east. At this time it has had only minimal impact on the Southern Oscillation Index with latest values near 0.0 and the 30 day average at 7.0). No wind anomalies are reported either with trades well in-control. The models suggest the MJO to make only limited eastward progresses limping to the dateline by Oct 8th then dissipating. Therefore only limited support for enhancing storm development patterns expected in the Gulf of Alaska and dateline regions.
Beyond 72 hours the models no swell producing fetch in our forecast area. Looks like summer is setting in over the South Pacific.
Details to follow...
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Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_alt.html
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table